Mascom launches mHealth projects

BOTSWANA

-
Image: By John Churu
Mascom launches mHealth projects

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Mascom will this week launch far-reaching mHealth projects in Botswana.

Mascom has been collaborating with PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation) to improve the quality and efficiency of disease surveillance in Botswana through mobile health monitoring technology.

The initiative enables health workers to more efficiently predict, observe, and minimise the harm caused by outbreak situations, advancing the country toward its goal of malaria elimination. PING, supported in part by the US Government's PEPFAR programme, is undertaking several mobile health projects in Botswana and shares Mascom’s goal of supporting the Ministry of Health in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other ailments and in promoting the general health of the population.

New initiatives by Mascom include ‘The kgakololo Project’ which is a project developed by PING as an SMS-based support, reminder and information system for patients. The pilot project was first launched in March 2010 (SMS reminders for HIV-patients). The system provides patients with medication and doctor appointment reminders, feedback to questions and assistance in emergency situations via SMS and a toll free phone number.

A follow-up project is the Safe Male Circumcision Project, which came with the success of the Kgakololo Project.  PING is extending the service to Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) clients in which males who opt into the Government SMC outreach project are also given SMS-based support. Each patient will receive SMS’s, which include reminders for follow up appointments and supportive messaging during the healing process.   

On the list of initiatives to be unpacked by Mascom is the Disease Surveillance and Mapping Project. This programme equips healthcare workers in Botswana with HP Palm Pre 2 smart phones to collect malaria data, notify the Ministry of Health about an outbreak, and tag both data and disease surveillance information with a GPS coordinate. This data will contribute to a first-ever geographic map of disease transmission in the country, enabling faster response times and better measurement of malaria cases to monitor treatment and scale-up net coverage. The program’s pilot phase was the largest mobile health pilot program in Botswana, running throughout the malaria season. Future programs will expand to all outbreak-prone diseases in the region.

Mobile technology provided by Mascom will drastically improve malaria surveillance, by speeding data collection and generating more context-aware information. The project will allow for:

a) Data analysis in the cloud: The system enables healthcare workers to collect data via a Web application on a mobile device, upload the data over the mobile network, and analyse and share the data in the cloud. Through this system, analysis now takes hours rather than weeks to complete.

b) Rapid outbreak notification: When an outbreak is detected, healthcare workers can immediately upload specific case and location information from their mobile device in the field. All health officers in the area and members of the Ministry of Health then receive a text message alerting them of the outbreak, enabling rapid deployment of preventative measures to reduce disease transmission.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE BOTSWANA NEWS

Musical chairs in the BTCL boardroom

Change has come for the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited Board of Directors with the appointment of its new crop of board members, led by legal expert Daphne Matlakala.  Read More

Radio sky jumps for charity

The Mochudi Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind is the beneficiary of a sky jump for charity carried out by two radio presenters and a producer from Gabz FM radio station.  Read More

Environmentalists welcome improved technology

Participants in a recent Monitoring For Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) conference in Botswana were upbeat about the new technologies that MESA is harnessing.  Read More

Stanbic advises holiday makers

As Botswana enters two days of holidays, Stanbic has urged people not to let their guard down on financial security. Read More

Bytes, NCR and Barclays in ATM deal

Bytes Managed Solutions, the exclusive distributor of NCR technology solutions in Southern Africa had signed a deal with Barclays Bank of Botswana (BBB) for the installation of intelligent cash deposit ATMs. Read More

Education Minister: ICT vital in schools

Botswana’s Acting Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has called for an increased uptake of ICTs in all schools in the country.  Read More

Botswana approves Innovation Fund

Botswana's parliament has approved a National Innovation Fund which will provide seed and early stage funding for technology based start-ups and ventures as well as established companies with viable innovation concepts. Read More

Innovation Hub introduces new offices

The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) has opened two new offices to services its wider clientele base.  Read More

Botswana, Germany, France in ICT/cultural exchange

The Botswana College of Open and Distance Learning (BOCODOL) is in the second year of an educational exchange that involves students from France and Germany.  Read More

Botswana college signs MoU with Swaziland

The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Swaziland has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Botswana’s Boitekanelo College to formalise bilateral cooperation.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Widening ICT skills gap: Cause for concernWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern

Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.